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RFA Thielen looking to be ‘respected’ by Vikings in contract talks

Oct 9, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) celebrates his touchdown with tight end MyCole Pruitt (83) during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

During training camp, some wondered whether wide receiver Adam Thielen would make the Minnesota Vikings’ roster considering they selected a receiver in the first round and had more proven wideouts in the group. Not only did he stick, but Thielen became the 1B option along with with 1A Stefon Diggs in the Vikings’ passing attack.

Thielen, who is a Restricted Free Agent, says he is looking to stick in Minnesota for the long haul, but also understands that he earned a significant raise.

“Being able to put the film out there that I did and prove that I can be a starter in this league, it’s put me in a good situation,” Thielen said at Winterfest on Friday. “Now I’m just hoping that things can work out and I can be respected in that type of way because I feel like I proved it and hopefully I can stay here long term and be respected with the way they handle me.”

Quarterback Sam Bradford and Thielen found chemistry this season as the undrafted receiver from Mankato caught 69 passes for 967 yards and five touchdowns. He was also rated in the top 20 receivers by Pro Football Focus.

Other teams will be able to submit offer sheets for Thielen, though the Vikings will likely tender him an offer, which means that the Vikings can match any offer and any opponent who wants to sign Thielen would have to give draft pick compensation to do so.

“There’s a lot that goes into it,” Thielen said. “It’s a pretty complex deal but for me, I’m just leaving it to my agent and let me just go work and focus on training and be the best football player I can.”

Thielen’s agent Blake Baratz joined 1500ESPN’s Purple Podcast. He said that he expects other teams to call about the possibility of an offer sheet.

Player agent Blake Baratz talks combine and Adam Thielen’s future (ep. 190)

  • Ellison

    Sign the kid Vikings.

  • Topgunn

    Agree 100% Ellison. The young man has EARNED his contract. (and there’s no denying the chemistry he has with Sam Bradford).

  • Gordon Guffey

    I dont know how they can let Thielen walk away even if they use a 2nd round tenure they could still lose him ~ The deal is they cant count on Diggs as much as I love the kid and hope he grows out of his injury problems like Robert Smith finally did there is no way of counting on Diggs to be the 1A WR ~ In fact I would list Thielen as the 1A WR until Diggs shows he can stay healthy ~

    I also believe they need to do everything within reason to keep Patterson because of Digg’s injury history and the fact he is a outstanding two way ST player and could be used as a RB at times and who know maybe the kid take to RB ~ It wouldn’t be the first time something like happened ~

    I love Diggs but his injury history worries me deeply just as not knowing whats going to happen with Treadwell ~ Can he recover from one of if not to worst rookie years by a #1 draft pick ~ ??? I’m puling for both young men to be great in the future ~ Starting in 2017 ~

    • cka2nd

      “one of if not to [the] worst rookie years by a #1 draft pick”

      Not the worst. 1971’s Leo Hayden (Ohio State RB) got into seven games according to Pro Football Reference and got not one carry, catch or return. He hung on for the next two seasons on the Cardinals. He had a drug problem back in the day but, at least according to his Wikipedia page, he seems to have turned his life around and is doing good work, I’m happy to see.

  • Curt Gast

    We have drafted receivers that have not done this. Sign him…

  • Ryan Wiuff

    He’s not going anywhere. Not sure how long it’ll take but he’s not going anywhere, I’m 100% sure the Vikings will resign him to an amount that’s fair for both sides

  • Jeeves

    I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the 2015 season; “if Thielen played for New England, everyone would know his name”. Too much of a feel good, homegrown, positive PR story for the Vikings to squander. SKOL!

  • Mike Sullivan

    Thielen deserves a “Fair” contract and has earned it, I like him as a player and he has proven he is reliable. My issue is this, He still did not hit the 1000 yard mark as a receiver, and he is more of a number two type receiver than a number one. How much do you really pay him? and how much is too much? If you take it on that premise, If a team is going to give us a second round pick and overpay for Thielen, Then let him walk and take the draft pick. As much as I don’t want that to happen, it very well might. I think he is going to want big money.

    • Jeeves

      I have to disagree with you, Mike.
      Two more key passes his way could have easily put him over 1,000 yds and landed him on every NFL team’s radar. Conspiracy theorists can have all the fun they want with that one.
      I sincerely doubt he could be replaced with a second round pick.
      Anything I have read, has him looking for a reasonable contract.

    • Andre Esters

      You make a fair point, Mike… Thielen is a solid #2 WR, no reason to hand the dude a blank check.
      But one glance at the Vikings offense shows #19 has way more value than a 1k season worth of yards , especially now that the QB is familiar with him.
      The “other” options on offense consist of undersized WR Diggs, Wright and C.Johnson are likely on the way out, rookie Treadwell has to grow, Patterson might get caught up in financial nonsense, one TE in Rudolph, and the RB group is headed by scat-back McKinnon.

      I’m guessing all this explains what Thielen means by respect… Minnesota shouldn’t get too cute on this one.

  • Mark17

    We have to sign Patterson, get Peterson to sign a fair and reasonable contract for both sides, Vastly improve the Oline in FA as well as in the draft and draft Christian McCaffrey. Patterson is one of the most electric and dynamic playmakers in the league. When the Vikings get the ball in his hands, great things happen. He’s an incredible offensive weapon and when combined with AP, diggs, McCaffrey and an Oline that can protect Bradford we’ll have an offense that can compete with anyone. Last year I said the Vikings should draft Derrick Henry. He’s an excellent back in his own right, truly a generational player and would of provided an excellent insurance policy for AP. We didn’t do that and look at the consequences- AP got hurt and our offense truly struggled as a direct result. If we had signed Henry, he could of stepped right in and had a tremendous impact right off the bat. We’ve passed over a lot of players throughout the drafts that could of really helped us. Players that are standouts on other teams. If we want to contend for a Championship, we have to stop making mistakes in the draft and go after players that are generational dynamic weapons. This year that player is Christian McCaffrey. Just imagine what our offense would look like with AP, CP Diggs and McCaffrey. Throw in Kyle Rudolph and you’re really looking at something special. Look at the team’s that consistently make the playoffs- they all have complimentary electric dynamic playmakers. Guys like Tyreek Hill for the Chiefs and Taylor Gabriel for the Falcons- those teams are highly successful because they can compliment their core Offensive weapons like Juilo Jones and Travis Kelce with electric playmakers that at any moment in the game can break one. Defenses not only have to worry about their frontline weapons but hey also have to account for their electric playmakers. For us that player is Patterson. When given the opportunity, he’s a game changer and that’s exactly what we need. Now all that being said, I want Thielen to stay home and sign with us but I don’t know if we’ll have the cap space to do it without sacrificing guys we really need. I would extend a tender offer to him so we have the chance to match and if not then we get picks in return. If we want to win the Super Bowl Next year, we need that Oline to be vastly better. We need AP, CP Christian McCaffrey, and Diggs. If we can sign Adam too, I’m all for it. I just don’t know if we can. Skol Vikings!

  • Andre Esters

    Minnesota would be crazy not to show respect to Thielen… so what if it costs a little above average, their options are honestly limited.
    Having WR’s Diggs, Thielen, Patterson, and Treadwell is a decent way to kickoff 2017. With TE Rudolph, RB McKinnon, and QB Bradford locked in as starters, hopefully that makes it a little easier for the Vikes to focus on the Oline and areas of the aging defense.


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